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How to protect your finances in divorce

The divorce process is challenging, stressful and full of roadblocks that are sure to bog you down. Even so, when you take the right approach, you position yourself to protect your legal rights every step of the way.

When it comes to protection, your finances should always be at the top of your priority list. If you neglect to take the right steps, it could come back to haunt you in the future.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Create a property and debt division checklist: Use this to better understand the assets and debts that need to be negotiated in your divorce. It’s also the right place to make note of any assets that are separate.
  • Know the value of your assets: If you don’t know the value of your assets, you could end up getting the short end of the stick. Do your best to place a value on every asset before the divorce process begins. You may need help with this, such as by hiring a professional appraiser.
  • Watch for hidden assets: Don’t put it past your soon-to-be ex-spouse to hide assets from you. They may do so with the hope that they’re not subject to division. If you know that your spouse is hiding assets, bring this to the attention of the court.
  • Begin to think about the future: It’s a mistake to focus all your time and energy on what’s happening right now. Don’t get ahead of yourself, but at the same time you should think about the life you want to build in the future.

Key questions to address

As you prepare for the divorce process, here are some key questions you can answer with regard to your finances:

  • Where will you live post-divorce?
  • How much money do you earn right now?
  • Do you earn enough money to cover all your future expenses?
  • Do you have a post-divorce budget?

There’s no exact science to protecting your finances in divorce. The best strategy is to prepare to the best of your ability, as doing so will help you protect all of your legal rights.